Daily Archives: January 23, 2008

Who said economics isn’t useful?

I posted about these folks last year. At their website, they’re promising to put up a list on January 25 of where they project the Rivals Top 250 for 2008 will sign. They expect to be accurate with a little over 70% of their picks.

The interesting part of this is what they find to be relevant to these kids when they decide where they want to go. It’s not entirely what you’d expect:

…There were a number of factors that we thought would significantly impact the decision of the high school athlete that didn’t. For example, factors like the school’s graduation rate, the number of Bowl Championship Series (BCS) bowl appearances, the current roster depth at the recruited player’s position, the number of players from a specific college drafted by the NFL, and even the number of national championships won by a particular program don’t systematically influence the decisions of high school athletes. Surprised? So were we. What, then, does matter? As it turns out the following factors DO significantly impact the decision of high school athletes:

  • Whether the athlete made an “official visit” to a specific college

  • Whether the school is in a BCS conference

  • The distance from the high school athlete’s hometown to a specific school

  • Whether the recruit is in the same state as a specific school

  • The final AP Ranking of a specific school in the previous year of competition

  • The number of conference titles a school has recorded in recent years

  • Whether the school is currently under a “bowl ban” for violating NCAA rules

  • The current number of scholarship reductions a school faces for violating NCAA rules

  • The size of the team’s stadium (measured in terms of seating capacity)

  • Whether the school has an on-campus stadium

  • The current age of the team’s stadium

So, in a nutshell, high school athletes prefer winning programs that are close to home, are in possession of good physical facilities, and are in good graces with the NCAA. Interestingly enough however, reduced scholarships increase the likelihood of choosing a particular school, holding all else constant. This is likely because reduced scholarships imply reduced competition for exposure and playing time in the future.

No mention of coeds, as a factor or not? Color me a bit surprised about that.

And I’m relieved to see that alcohol related incidents didn’t make the list.

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Filed under Recruiting

Tech beefs up its ’08 schedule.

Hey, it worked for Hawaii.

Now Georgia Tech faces the likelihood that it will have two Division I-AA teams on its non-conference schedule. The Yellow Jackets open on Aug. 30 against Jacksonville State and are expected to announce another I-AA opponent late this week or early next week. If Tech is forced to schedule a second I-AA opponent, it is going to have to go 7-5 against a schedule that includes home games against FSU, Miami and Mississippi State, and on the road against Clemson, Virginia Tech and Georgia.

“It’s tough on our season-ticket holders but when somebody pulls out of a contract that late your options are really limited,” Wayne Hogan, Tech’s associate athletics director, said.

Amazingly, it looks like two or three other ACC schools will be doing the same thing.  Way to pump up that conference SOS, fellas!

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Filed under ACC Football, Georgia Tech Football

The “Matt Factor”

From Rivals.com:

Look for USF or Georgia to emerge victorious in the 2008 national championship game, and not just because both teams are coming off successful seasons and returning the majority of their starters.

What really matters is the “Matt Factor.”

Recent trends – or perhaps it’s karma – indicate that USF quarterback Matt Grothe and Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford will be the difference in winning a national title. Since 2003, three teams have won national championships with quarterbacks named Matt: LSU with Matt Mauck in 2003, USC with Matt Leinart in 2004 and LSU with Matt Flynn in 2007.

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Filed under Georgia Football

“Well, coach, this is just the landscape of college football now.”

As we shed crocodile tears over the death of chivalry in college football, as we listen to coaches like Charlie Weis pontificate about all that is sacred in a kid’s verbal commitment… perhaps it would be wise to keep this story in mind.

What really gets me about this kid’s plight is that weasels like Orsini who insist that the new coach has the last say in situations like this will be the first to proclaim piously that kids shouldn’t have the unfettered right to leave a program when their head coach departs, because, after all, those kids made a commitment to the school, not the coach.

But at least Orsini wished him the best.  I’m sure that’s a comfort.

(h/t The Wizard of Odds)

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, Recruiting

Argh. Just argh.

It’s the new college football playoff meme! We extended playoff doubters – we’re just a bunch of heartless bastards when we insist that we don’t want the best regular season in organized sports to be unduly diminished. Because our game really is to badmouth the college basketball regular season. Oh, the humanity.

Which gets me to this exercise in dishonesty.

It’s a trite cry from college football tradition-mongers – “You can’t put a playoff in; then the regular season will be meaningless, like college basketball.” The problem is, these people know nothing about basketball. There are plenty of reasons to like regular season NCAA hoops, just ask Eli Kaberon.

Eli, old pal, nobody is saying that the college basketball regular season is meaningless… just that it serves a different purpose than does the D-1 football regular season. And I know you understand that because in your own piece you admit it.

… Despite the differences in how they determine a champion, the games played in the regular season are important in both college basketball as well as football. The 25 or so contests that each school plays before March help their position in the tournament, both in terms of seed and location. Regular season action also prepares a team for the postseason schedule and the different styles of play they may see. And, of course, the regular season games give fans a better chance to understand a squad’s strengths and weaknesses – which helps us fill out our tournament brackets in March.

And you know what? There’s nothing wrong with that. March Madness is a lot of fun. I just don’t want it as the model for D-1 football.

Here’s where the train really goes off the tracks:

… Because college basketball actually has a post-season that crowns the best team on the court – as opposed to the best teams in the polls – the regular season is used to organize and evaluate who the best teams are. This translates to the seeding for the tournament, as well as the location of the games played.

College basketball crowns the winner of a six game, single elimination tourney. Is that school “the best team on the court”? For the tourney, sure. For the season? Maybe, maybe not.

And as for that “best team in the polls” tripe, Eli, the NCAA is using subjective evaluation (polls, RPI, etc.) to determine seeding and locations, as you acknowledge. Don’t you think that has more than a little impact on a given school’s chances to succeed in the tournament? To torture an analogy here, you can’t be a little bit pregnant. Once you let subjective analysis have a part in deciding who gets in, where they play and who they play, you’ve reduced the argument to how wide you want to cast the net. Why is this approach acceptable for sixty four teams but not for two?

Again, the crux of the debate for me is how much are you willing to devalue the results of the regular season with a playoff.

If you don’t see a problem with a system like the NFL’s that could see a six loss team being crowned “the best” by upsetting an undefeated team going through an historic run (with a QB that’s just been put in a walking cast, by the way), fine. If a mediocrity like an 83 win St. Louis Cardinal team winning a World Series rings your bell, great. If momentary Cinderellas are more important to you than sustained excellence, enjoy March Madness.

Just admit there’s a tradeoff. And don’t tell me I’m the bad guy for pointing that out.

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UPDATE: More BS here. Does anybody notice how playoff proponents like to argue both sides of the money issue? Either there’s more money from a playoff or not – which is it, guys?

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles

More recruitin’ stuff

CFN‘s got a couple of pieces up this morning. One is a national overview of how some of the interesting developments (like how coaching changes are affecting the incoming classes) are going. And then there’s the inevitable Q&A with Jamie Newberg that does have a brief shout-out for A. J. Green.

Meanwhile, make sure you catch Mike Bianchi’s piece on Urban “I Push The Envelope” Meyer’s successful run at gymnast Maranda Smith. Bianchi makes an interesting point that I’d totally forgotten about:

What is it about gymnasts being involved in the football recruiting process? A few years ago, the NCAA investigated a relationship between Pompano Beach high school All-America defensive lineman Corey Simon and Georgia gymnast Leah Brown. Although the Bulldogs were eventually cleared, Simon got out of his Georgia scholarship and wound up at Florida State.

And finally, the fact that Georgia doesn’t have a scholly to offer at this point may have stopped Omar Hunter from looking, but it doesn’t seem to have put a damper on Neiko Lipscomb’s interest.

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UPDATE:  In a story that has more twists and turns than a bad crime novel, it turns out that Florida isn’t through looking into Meyer’s recruitment of Moore and Smith.

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Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, Recruiting